The people who have come from diverse communities across Glasgow and Scotland to perform on the world stage at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have now begun rehearsals for the night of their lives.
Around 2000 cast members will represent the host city and nation as they perform in front of around 40,000 people at Celtic Park and a potential television audience of over 1 billion viewers.
Rehearsals have been taking place at locations across Glasgow with the cast being taught the carefully choreographed routines which will place them at the heart of the Opening Ceremony.
Although the rehearsals, like the ceremonies themselves are being kept under wraps, organisers are promising an Opening Ceremony which will surprise and delight and be uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish.
Glasgow 2014's partnership with UNICEF will also be part of the Opening Ceremony in a global fundraising first which will positively impact the lives of children across the Commonwealth.
Oliver Edby, Glasgow 2014 Ceremonies Cast Member said :
"I am having such a good time being part of the ceremonies cast. I'm really glad I applied and thrilled to have been chosen to be part of it. It's about representing Glasgow and the whole of Scotland and it has brought together such a great mix of people which is what the Games are all about. It is hard work but everyone is looking forward to an amazing night at the Opening Ceremony. "
David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 said:
The men and women who have come together to be part of the Opening Ceremony cast are devoting huge amounts of time and effort in what is the adventure of a lifetime. They are part of something truly historic, which will showcase Glasgow and Scotland as generous hosts with a passion for life.
David Zolkwer, Head of Ceremonies and Artistic Director said:
"Our goal has always been to have the people of Glasgow and Scotland take centre-stage; for them to speak (and sing and dance) for themselves. So, on the night our audience will witness thousands of real people doing extraordinary things – and in the process I know our volunteer cast performers will do themselves, the City and Scotland proud."
Eileen Gallagher, Independent Director on the Glasgow 2014 Board, said:
"The Ceremonies Cast will represent Glasgow and Scotland at the heart of the Opening Ceremony. They are working very hard with the globally recognised team creating the ceremonies to showcase the host city and nation and get the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games off to a flying start. The Celtic Park stage is almost set for the cast who are on the journey of a lifetime towards an unforgettable night for them and for everyone who sees the Opening Ceremony."
Andy Cannon, Creative Director -Performance of the Glasgow 2014 Ceremonies said:
"The people are absolutely amazing and that is one of the great things about working with this cast. The energy has been second to none and the cast are so committed, full of enthusiasm and supportive of what we are putting together. Everyone is working so hard and we are looking forward to being able to show the world what this cast can do."
Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and UNICEF have forged a ground-breaking partnership, with the ambition of improving the lives of children in every country in the Commonwealth through raising money for the Children of the Commonwealth Fund, in the run-up to and during the Games.
Celtic Park is being dramatically transformed ahead of the Opening Ceremony which will feature Europe's largest LED screen, a specially created stage floor which covers the entire pitch and includes a walkway specifically designed for the athlete's parade.
The giant screen, which is currently being built across the whole of the South Stand at Celtic Park will be almost 100 meters long, 11 meters high and will weigh in at 38 tonnes
The Opening & Closing Ceremonies of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are being created and produced on behalf of Glasgow 2014 by Jack Morton Worldwide who also created the Ceremonies for Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. They are the team behind some of the most high profile and critically acclaimed ceremonies on four continents – including Athens 2004 Olympic Ceremonies and the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup Ceremonies.